Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Flickery Lamp


I mentioned yesterday that with all the recent rain, our garden is a quagmire. The cemetery is even worse, as you can see. Anyplace that gets frequent or even modest foot traffic has become a shoe-sucking slurry of clay and water.

I was reading the other day that the managers of Hampstead Heath are worried about the heavy use the Heath paths are getting because of the lockdown. With no one able to travel far from home, the Heath is being loved to death, they say, and they expect the land to take a while to recover.

I suspect the same is true of the cemetery, although if I remember correctly, it looks like this pretty much every year. In previous years I've been impressed at how resilient the land is. A path that looks entirely muddy and free of plant life in winter will, in summer, be more or less grassed over. We'll see if the same is true this summer.


Anyway, Olga didn't mind the mud, as you can see. I took this photo at the very beginning of our walk, when she'd made one run for her tennis ball. As you can imagine, by the end of our outing, she was much dirtier!


On the way home, she stopped to drink some water pooled in the bricks of this low garden wall. They're odd looking bricks, with a sort of well in the middle and the words "LBC Phorpres" pressed into them.

LBC, it turns out, stands for "London Brick Company," the outfit that apparently produced a huge number of the bricks used to build the city's housing. "Phorpres" is a trade name that, according to this web site, comes from the brick's manufacturing method -- they are pressed twice in each direction, so, "four-pressed." (I love the fact that there is such a detailed and extensive web site devoted to old bricks! The wonders of the Internet.)

Aside from walking (and bathing) the dog, I ran errands yesterday -- picked up our clean sheets from the laundromat, bought some tulips at Tesco, and bought light bulbs for our new living room floor lamp. Since we're spending all our time at home these days, I've embarked on a small program of home improvements, and replacing our flickering, light-bulb-ravenous floor lamp was one of the items on our list. We got the old lamp free from the parents of one of Dave's students, so God only knows how old it is. The new one is a retro pole lamp with three swiveling hoods, and it's more reliable, less flickery and uses fewer bulbs.

Now we have to get rid of the old lamp. I considered putting it on Freecycle, but because of the lockdown, Freecycle isn't taking any listings that aren't related to coronavirus emergency relief. And besides, it is flickery, and I wouldn't want to give away something that's electrically unreliable. (I think it just needs a new dimmer switch, but I'm not an expert in these things.) We can't just put it out with the trash -- it's too big. So I guess, for now, it will stand in a corner of the foyer, like a student being punished in an old-fashioned classroom. Anybody want a flickery lamp?

36 comments:

Alphie Soup said...

What a mucky, yucky path in the cemetery!
And no thanks, no flickery lights for me. I already have two small table lamps which need some attention from the man who repairs small electrical items.
Alphie

Unknown said...

R has a flickery bedside lamp that has to be replaced. So no thanks.
Why aren't heavily trafficked paths in the Heath paved? That path is a nightmare. Well may the managers worry, but do something about heavily trafficked walkways. Our parks were flooded with people during lock down and survived.
In one inner suburb local people continually cut a fence a local council continued to repair to access a closed golf course for local resident recreation. The residents eventually won and were allowed access.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I want a NEW floor lamp. So, no, but thanks. Olga and mud. Inseparable.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

As Mrs Kravitz kindly gave you some of the bedraggled plants she picked up from Homebase, why not give her the floor lamp you want to cast out? One good turn deserves another and it's politic to keep on the right side of that lady.

Ursula said...

Flickering? Maybe that lamp was an extra in "Gaslight", the 1940s psychological thriller. Take it to the local recycling center. They'll deal with it (in a humane fashion). Otherwise just leave it on the curb with a note "Take me". Someone will.

Gratifying that you haven't succumbed to dressing Olga in an overcoat. Which reminds me: How do animals stay warm? Brings a whole new meaning to "fur coat" - not that Olga is furry as such. Do bears sweat (in the summer)? Which reminds me . . . see below.

As to the mud (and ignore Andrew's suggestion of tarmac paths - it's so practical and not romantic in the least), there is a passage in the lovely "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" (Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury) which goes

Uh-Uh! Mud!
Thick oozy mud.
We can't go over it.
We can't go under it.
Oh no!

We've got to go through it!

Squelch squelch!
Squelch squelch!
Squelch squelch!

To paraphrase Paul Newman "Life is not for Sissies".

U

gz said...

Lovely enjoyably muddy Olga!!
Bricks are fascinating...solid history

Bob said...

Olga clearly loves the muck!
And I think we're all learning to make our nests a little more comfortable in this past ::: gasp ::: year!

VRP said...

Transform the lamp into a hanging plant holder 😃

Ms. Moon said...

That is indeed a muddy path!
Olga looks overjoyed to be out in it.

ellen abbott said...

they should lay down the mulch from last years christmas trees on those paths. and can't you put the lamp wherever it is that people put stuff free for the taking?

Edna B said...

The lamp could be used as a coat rack maybe? Have a fun day, hugs, Edna B.

robin andrea said...

That is quite a muddy mucky path. It will be interesting to see how it looks in late spring after the rains.
We already have a flickery lamp, but thanks for the offer!

Sharon said...

I remember mud like that when I was going up in the midwest. I can't imagine walking in it now but your "shoe-sucking" description sounds perfect.
I watched a movie last night called "Hampstead" starring Diane Keaton. I had to buy it from Apple to watch it. It's been on my list for months but it has never been released to rent. The movie spends a lot of time on the Heath and around it. I enjoyed it.

Debby said...

Oh we would take that old floor lamp, rewire it. Although we really don't need a floor lamp... (This has never stopped me before. I just always seem to find someone who does.)

37paddington said...

That is some mud. I imagine you must have good winter boots.

Red said...

I've got enough flickery lamps. Thanks.

My life so far said...

I can't stand walking in mud and like washing muddy dogs even less so good on you for talking Olga out. I supposed they could lay some gravel down on the pathways but that gets expensive too but they're going to have to address the problem of more people staying close to home and using the parks more because the problem is going to last for awhile.

Steve Reed said...

It seems everyone already has a flickery lamp!

Steve Reed said...

Some of the paths ARE paved -- the most-used ones, like the path up Parliament Hill. But there are lots and lots of smaller paths that normally aren't well-traveled, but are this year!

Steve Reed said...

Indeed -- they go together!

Steve Reed said...

Ha! Maybe I'll just lift it over the fence and set it on her patio. Surprise!

Steve Reed said...

I love "Gaslight"! We may try the "free" sign option, if I can't eventually get Freecycle to work. I just hate to leave a lamp standing in front of our house.

Steve Reed said...

They are weirdly fascinating. When I looked at that web site I was surprised!

Steve Reed said...

Nesting is where it's at!

Steve Reed said...

Ha! It really wouldn't work with this lamp. I should have posted a picture. It's like a big cylinder.

Steve Reed said...

She had a great time!

Steve Reed said...

We could put it in front of the house, which is the closest thing we have to a "free stuff" location, but I kind of hate to leave a lamp standing out there!

Steve Reed said...

Ha! It could hold one coat, thrown over the top. :)

Steve Reed said...

I had no idea flickery lamps were so common!

Steve Reed said...

I saw that movie! I recognized some of the locations. We enjoyed it too.

Steve Reed said...

I wish I could give it to you! That's exactly what it needs, I think -- a simple rewiring.

Steve Reed said...

I have some waterproof shoes that are my usual dog-walking gear. Occasionally I wear them to work by mistake. :)

Steve Reed said...

You and everyone else, apparently!

Steve Reed said...

Oh, and actually they HAVE put Christmas tree mulch on some of the paths.

Steve Reed said...

Like Ellen said, it would be nice if they could mulch the paths, but they may not have enough mulch. (There are a LOT of paths.) Fortunately Olga has very short hair, so bathing her is pretty easy.

The Padre said...

Wish I Could Hop On Down The Street And Replace The Dimmer Switch For You Guys - Would Be A Nice Lamp Out In The Backyard Garden With A Rotation Of Different Colored Bulbs - Olga Girl, You Are A Classic - Stay Strong Brother Man

Cheers